The Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative (Student Hotspotting) trains hundreds of students around the country every year to work in interprofessional teams to provide compassionate, whole-person care to people with complex health and social needs in their own communities. Student teams include both traditional healthcare disciplines like medicine, nursing, social work, pharmacy, and physical therapy, and disciplines not traditionally included in healthcare, like business, anthropology, law, and policy.
In the Student Hotspotting program, interprofessional student teams learn complex care by doing, and we have seen encouraging results. When we asked students in the 2016 cohort about their experiences in program, both interprofessional teaming and working directly with patients with complex health and social needs emerged as significant benefits.
Interprofessional teaming helped student hotspotters:
- Gain new perspectives on the problems their patients identify
- Work with the full range of resources that are available to help their patients
- Help patients navigate the complicated healthcare and social service systems
- Generate a collective focus on care and overcome existing authority and rank structures that are common in healthcare settings
Student hotspotters already had a high level of interest in working with underserved communities, but working closely with patients in their homes and in the community and developing personal relationships deepened this interest in many cases. Some students who had been interested in working with underserved populations abroad shifted to a domestic focus.